Callum Ilott finished the Masters of F3 event at Zandvoort just off the podium in fourth, but felt it was a positive weekend, especially on a circuit traditionally that hasn’t favoured his Van Amersfoort Racing team in the past.
Ilott had qualified for the qualifying race on pole position on Saturday, but was caught unaware by the start procedure that saw him lose out to Joel Eriksson into the first turn, and with the processional nature of the Zandvoort circuit, at least in Formula 3 machinery, it was just a case of following the Swede until the chequered flag.
“Like a few of us on the grid I wasn’t prepared for the start lights procedure not following the ‘F1’ style five lights format and I didn’t react as quickly as I needed to make the most of pole position,” said Ilott.
“It is a decent result and it’s always good to be on the podium. I always want a bit more so I’m a bit frustrated I couldn’t have done just one place better in race one.
“It is a stronger result for VAR too. We know that Motopark typically go well there and we were definitely quicker in Free Practice and quali. It’s just a track that doesn’t promote overtaking in an F3 car and it was bit processional in the car and for the spectators.”
Ilott was unable to return to the favour to Eriksson during Sunday’s Feature race, instead finding himself pinched to the inside of turn one that in turn allowed Niko Kari to also jump ahead of the Briton, before finding himself relegated to third the following lap by Sergio Sette Câmara.
Despite appearing to be baulked by Eriksson on the run down to the first turn, Ilott admitted it was a fair move by the Swede.
“It did feel like I was squeezed to the inside and up against the pit wall but Joel did give me just enough room and given the importance of the start at Zandvoort, I wasn’t going to lose the place off the line,” said Ilott.
“I don’t think it slowed me too much but it meant I was forced to stay on the inside into Turn One and this allowed Niko Kari to pass around the outside. That was more costly.”